Summary: A message describing discipleship as defined in the beatitudes.
This morning I would like for us to take a closer look at what we call Discipleship. Discipleship means “a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower:” If you are a born again believer, if you have asked Jesus Christ to save you from your sins, and you have committed your life to following Him, then you are his Disciple.
Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ is not an easy thing to do. In order to be a disciple of Christ many things that come natural to us as human beings have to be set aside and the exact opposite behavior is expected.
Eugene Peterson in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction writes, “It is not difficult in our world to get a person interested in the message of the Gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest. Millions of people in our culture make decisions for Christ, but there is a dreadful attrition rate. Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim. In our kind of culture anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap. There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier Christians called holiness.” From "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction", Eugene Peterson
Throughout History, we have seen countless millions of people proclaim that they were followers of Christ. Many just so that they could fit in, and in ancient times so that they would not lose their life. Today we see a nation that, if you ask, proclaims that they are a Christian nation. You see our presidential candidates. Both current candidates proclaim to be Christians. Are they really? How can we tell? To be a Christian is to be a disciple of Christ. What does that mean?
Last April I came and preached a message for you on discipleship and I covered the first 3 of the beatitudes. A few Wednesday nights ago I taught on the next two. This morning I am going to try to teach the meaning of the next couple of beatitudes as taught by Jesus Christ on the Sermon on the Mount.
The Sermon on the Mount was taught to the 12 disciples while a multitude of people looked on. This sermon was meant to teach these followers of Christ the things that were important for them to be effective, productive Christians. Today we can look at this message and apply it to us and determine what would make us effective and productive as His followers. We can also use this text and others to determine false disciples.
As a review let us read the passage and again look at the beatitudes that we have covered previously.
Matthew 5: 1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Blessed are the poor in spirit – this means that we are to be totally dependent upon God.
Blessed are they that mourn – We are to be broken over sin in our lives.
Blessed are the meek – We should be willing to set aside our rights
Blessed those who hunger and thirst after righteousness – We are to desire that our lives would present holiness to others.
Blessed are the merciful – We are always show mercy when we look at others.
We have 4 more to look at before we complete the first part of this message to Christ’s disciples.
We only have time to look closely at the next two.
First is Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. This instruction is telling us that while it is important for our outward lives to present holiness, it is just as important for our inner-life, our secret internal life, to be full of that same holiness.